Real Betis - Athletic Club
Matchday 26

Real Betis - Athletic Club

Real Betis
Real Betis
Athletic Club
Athletic Club
  • 13' Chimy Ávila
  • 38' Yuri (Key not found (generic.pp))
  • 67' Johnny
  • Guruzeta 52'

LocationBenito Villamarín , Sevilla

53.537 assistants

An evening to forget in Seville

Athletic Club lost 3-1 to Real Betis in a match marked by a bad start and Nico Williams' early dismissal

Real Betis defeated Athletic Club 3-1 in Seville in an evening to forget which was marked by Nico Williams' controversial sending off in the 40th minute.

Gorka Guruzeta sparked glimmers of hope with a late goal in the first half to make it 2-1, but Johnny Cardoso put the game to bed in the second 45 with a powerful strike.

The two sides' head-to-head record is now equal in the fight for Europe, but the Lions maintain a seven-point lead over Manuel Pellegrini's side.

Athletic got off to a good start, but Betis scored against the run of play in the 13th minute when Willian José and Chimy Avila linked up on a counter-attack which the former Osasuna player finished off.

Play was briefly stopped shortly after when the assistant referee, Guadalupe Porras, hit a camera and was knocked unconscious, meaning the fourth official was forced step in and run the line.

The toughest period for the Lions came towards the end of the half. It started in the 37th minute when the referee didn't call a possible foul on Nico Williams and it ended with an unfortunate own goal by Yuri Berchiche, the centre-back deflecting a rebound off Unai Simón into his own net.

Two minutes later, the younger Williams brother was given his marching orders for protesting and then applauding the referee after being booked for a soft foul.

To make matters worse, Yuri was brought off after picking up a knock. His replacement, Imanol, won a corner and Guruzeta made it 2-1, scoring his tenth LaLiga goal of the season with a beautiful header from an Alex Berenguer delivery.

The last moment of the second half, the goal gave Athletic a small boost. Los Leones fought hard in the second half and Berenguer almost made it 2-2 with a shot that narrowly missed the target, but Cardoso netted a powerful effort to kill any hope of a fightback.

Now it's time to focus fully on the Thursday' Copa semi-final second leg against Atlético Madrid at San Mames.

Berenguer's goal in the first leg gives us a slim advantage, but we will need to be at our best again.